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flag US - Massachusetts - Luna Kafé - Full Moon 26 - 12/03/98

Damon & Naomi
Live in Hamburg, November 2nd 1998

And I didn't even plan to see this show... My friend Joerg and I made the 400 km trip to Hamburg to see Bob Mould on his 'last ever' electric tour. But competition in Hamburg was tough this night: R.E.M. played their first German gig in ages (at the 800 capacity Grunspan), Blondie played their first show here in an even longer time, as I mentioned Bob Mould was on and for the 'lager, lager, lager' crowd Underworld played a rare show as well. All that on a Monday, all that in Hamburg.

Well, before we were going to drive to the Logo, I thought I could say 'hi' to Damon & Naomi before their show, as I did a very, very enjoyable interview with them in Amsterdam back in May, resulting in some articles on D&N and G500. When I told them that we wouldn't be able to see their show cause we had tickets for Bob Mould, Naomi just smiled and said: "You'd see the better show here" and Damon added: "This will probably be our one and only German show ever" (or words to that effect)... Well, needless to say, if two people who changed your life when they still were in Galaxie 500 and to this day still are one of your favourite acts as D&N, basically ask you to see their show, you can't turn them down. Well, I couldn't. So they put us on the guest-list (thanks again) and then we eagerly waited for the show to start, hoping that we would be able to see at least the end of Bob Mould's set as well. There were only 25 - albeit very enthusiastic - people attending. Naomi came to talk to us for a bit before the show... apparently they are very pleased with the way the tour has been going, Japan must've been a lot of fun as well. Being a big Bob Dylan fan I asked her to do It's All Over Now Baby Blue tonight, she just smiled and said "Maybe". As the intro music for the show they used the original Playback Singers from India, the ones that inspired their last album title. Strange stuff.

They came on stage around 9.30 PM, thanking everybody for choosing D&N over R.E.M., Blondie ("That's were we would've gone", Damon joked. "We'll try our best to be as gloomy as possible"), Bob Mould and Underworld and started with a long Turn Of The Century. I have to admit that I liked the songs where Naomi played the mini harmonium (is that what is is?!) better so I enjoyed the version of New York City and Information Age (maybe my favourite D&N song ever) even more. As mentioned before, they played a selection of all three albums, "Because they have been released in Europe for the first time now" as Damon pointed out. I guess it really makes sense then. They might have played England before and it was a bit dull to see them do the same songs again, but this was their first ever - if I'm informed correctly - German date and so everybody was quite pleased to hear the old stuff. They also did The Navigator, but what completely made my night was the song that followed it. Blue Moon (from Big Star's Sister Lovers album) is one of the most beautiful songs ever when Alex Chilton sings it, but with Naomi on vocals it almost moved me to tears. It was absolutely amazing. That song alone was well worth the long drive and missing Bob Mould for me! Damon had all sorts of cute stories to go with the songs and as I said before, the crowd loved every bit of it. The set included - not in this order - How Long and Eye Of The Storm (another personal favourite) as well and they closed with This Car Climbed Mt. Washington. Before they left the stage, they were trying to auction off the last remaining two T-shirts (needless to say, I got one), but of course they came back, three times actually, to do Tour Of The World and Tom Rapp's Translucent Carriages.

"Carsten, you're still here?", Naomi asked after that song - she seemed to be really surprised that I didn't leave early to see Bob Mould. "Yup, I am", I responded, "How about playing the song I wanted to hear?" "That's blackmail", she smiled. "No", I said, "It isn't cause you decide". Unfortunately they didn't do It's All Over Now Baby Blue, and for a second I was a little disappointed, but only for a second. Because before the very last song Damon said: "Well, we got something especially for you people here in Hamburg. I know we got our own songs, but..." - "This is our own song", Naomi interrupted him and Damon started to strum a few chords, before stopping. "I forgot the words!" - "Make them up", Naomi smiled. "No, there's this one image in this song that will help me to guide me through it", Damon answered (or something very close to that) and yes, they did Blue Thunder (One of the most beautiful Galaxie 500 songs - editor's note) and - needless to say - that made everybody out of the 25 people very, very happy!

A perfect end for what was a very strong, very laid-back 85 minute show. I for one was more than happy that I'd stayed. I got my T-shirt, got my posters signed - "For Carsten - who skipped Bob Mould, love Naomi + Damon" it reads - waved goodbye to the two and even managed to see quite a bit of the Bob Mould show a few blocks away. We even managed to make the 400km drive home in just three hours, despite the dreadful rain! What a night. Thanks to Joerg and thank you for reading. Sorry for any misspellings and mistakes of any kind, it's been a long day. Goodnight.

(3 nights after this show the majority of us at the Luna Kafé HQ saw D&N in Oslo, closing their small European tour. Their show was much the same as in Hamburg - Turn of the Century, New York City, Information Age, The Navigator, Laika, How Long, Blue Moon, This Car Climbed ..., only a bit shorter due to Damon's "exhausted" guitar, and maybe a too laid-back audience of 40-50. A pleasant evening though, even without Blue Thunder. - editor's note.)

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